Alhazred: Author of the Necronomicon by Donald Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I totally loved this book and for several reasons. First off the author has done his research on the Middle East. He put Alhazred's story back into it's proper context. The Mad Arab grew up and experienced his adventures in the Middle East so it is only proper that Egyptian Gods, Jinn, Ghoul's , Indian Thuggies and sultans play a part with the ever present spectre of the Old ones hidden in the background just outside of everyone's view.
The story starts off in Yemen when Alhazred, the kings poet , falls in love with Narissa, the King's daughter. They have an illicit affair that ends up with her getting pregnant. After they get caught the king of Yemen mutilates Alhazred's face, castrates him and leaves him to die in the Empty Quarter. But Alhazred is resourceful and he survives instead of dying. During his desert journey's he befriends a tribe of ghouls, makes friends with a female jinn and steals from caravans that which he needs in order oreto survive. After his tenure with the ghouls, who by the way die from poison, Alhazred wanders to the lost city of Irem or Ubar. Itn is there that he confronts a witch and learns the history of the old ones. After leaving the desert with numerous jewels he makes his way Egypt going through such cities as Bubastis, Babylon and Alexandria. It is in Egypt that he meets with Martala and makes enemies with Farri, s street thug.Farria and thugs follow Alhazred through Egypt and do not stop until he is killed for the first time. In Egypt he also steals a scroll to summon the Old ones which angers a group called the Order of the Sphinx. In a fight with this order he is infected with a poison that will kill him in days unless he finds the cure.
Months after his first death he wakes up in Alexandria, Egypt. In possession of what he needs he makes his way to Mesopotamia.It is there that he finds a garden paradise and tries to find the Well of Seraph in Vain hopes that this will rest his damaged body. His hopes are dashes. Constantly evading the Order of the Sphinx he travels with Thuggees to Damascus where he befriends a group of Necromancers in Damascus. But all is not well as the Caliph wishes to kill the Necromancers. In the end magic is not a salvation but always the good old fashion sword that comes to aid.
Through out his travels Alhazred is bothered in his dreams by Nyalathotep , the dark one. In this take we come across several deities from Cthulhu mythos. Like I mentioned earlier this one puts us in the Middle East. Yet it lacks the same imaginary frightfulness of Lovecraft's writing
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